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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 4

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1 AFTER this I had a vision: a door stood open in heaven, and the voice that I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place hereafter.’ 2At once the Spirit came upon me. There in heaven stood a throne. On it sat One 3whose appearance was like jasper or cornelian, and round it was a rainbow, bright as an emerald. 4In a circle about this throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on them were seated twenty-four elders, robed in white and wearing gold crowns. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Burning before the throne were seven flaming torches, the seven spirits of God, 6and in front of it stretched what looked like a sea of glass or a sheet of ice.

In the centre, round the throne itself, were four living creatures, covered with eyes in front and behind. 7The first creature was like a lion, the second like an ox, the third had a human face, and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings, and eyes all round and inside them. Day and night unceasingly they sing:

‘Holy, holy, holy is God the sovereign Lord of all, who was, and is, and is to come!’

9Whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to the One who sits on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders prostrate themselves before the One who sits on the throne and they worship him who lives for ever and ever. As they lay their crowns before the throne they cry:

11‘You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power, because you created all things; by your will they were created and have their being!’

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